WITCHEKAN LAKE FIRST NATION – In an historic event, Spiritwood RCMP were honoured Tuesday by the Witchekan Lake First Nation after police seized guns, drugs, cash, and arrested four men earlier this month.
Spiritwood RCMP officers honoured included Sgt. Sebastian Andrews, Cpl. Donovan Kajner, Cpl. Sol Puentespina, Const. Brad Smailes, Const. Diandra Collister, Const. Jeremy St. Germaine, and Const. Jerith Archibald.
“Our small community has seen an increase in drugs and gang violence since the pandemic started and we are thankful these officers were able to put a stop to it before something tragic happened,” said Witchekan Lake Chief Anne Thomas.
“We need to protect our families and children and those who are most vulnerable, our elders. We want to thank the RCMP and their officers for listening and working with our leadership and assisting us in taking these drugs and weapons out of our community. We will continue to work with them to ensure that this never happens again.”
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, who is from Witchekan Lake First Nation, said the drug bust was an example of what happens when RCMP and First Nations work together.
“We hope that all police agencies that work directly with First Nations communities throughout Saskatchewan follow suit and work with First Nations leaders towards having drug and gang-free communities,” said Cameron.
“We want to celebrate and honour these officers for putting their lives on the line for the safety and well-being of Witchekan Lake. These officers prevented a possible tragedy by listening and working with the leadership and by fostering relationships with community members.”
Chief Cheryl Kahpeaysewat from Moosomin First Nation, Chief Donny Ironchild from Little Pine First Nation, and Chief Frank Dieter of Peepeekisis Cree Nation also spoke at the ceremony.
Assistant Commissioner of RCMP F Division Rhonda Blackmore, said the RCMP is committed to reconciliation. She also said the RCMP continues to prioritize gun and gang-related offences.
“This sends a message to all those involved with criminal networks. We will investigate, we will continue to disrupt and we will dismantle illegal trafficking of guns and drugs on First Nations or any community in Saskatchewan," said Blackmore.